The best of the PC at CES 2011

Tom Senior at

Razer Switchblade

The Consumer Electronics Show 2011 has just wrapped up, showing off hundreds of hot new gadgets to the world. CES always provides a great insight into the technology of the future, and that includes the chips, processors and controllers we can expect to be using with our PCs later this year. Below you'll find an overview of five of the most interesting bits of new tech shown at this year's convention.

1. Razer Hydra motion controls and Portal 2

Razer have created their own precision motion controller for the PC. It's called the Hydra, and like the Ninendo Wii controller, it consists of two handheld controllers linked by a cable, the movements of which can be recognised by a device that sits on your desktop and projects a six foot wide electromagnetic field. The controller will come bundled with a special copy of Portal 2 that will contain an extra level pack specifically designed to make use of the Hydra's abilities. The controller allows the player to pick up, stretch and distort special blocks to solve the game's puzzles. Here's Progaming's video showing one of the new Portal 2 levels being demoed with the Hydra.

2. Intel's Sandy Bridge processor

It wasn't just the Razer Hydra that featured Valve's input at this year's CES. Valve CEO Gabe Newell gave a presentation singing the praises of Intel's new 'Sandy Bridge' processor. It's a CPU with built in graphics card capabilities. At the moment it's not powerful enough to make graphics cards redundant, but it's an interesting glimpse of a possible future in which integrated graphics technology outshines separate GFX components. Newell says that Portal 2 has been specifically optimised to work with the Sandy Bridge technology.

3. PrimeSense Wavi Xtion motion sensor camera

PrimeSense are the company responsible for much of the depth sensing technology in Microsoft's motion sensing Kinect peripheral for the Xbox 360. They've teamed up with ASUS to create the Wavi Xtion motion sensing camera, which has been designed for use with the PC. The device is due to be released in February along with the Xtion Pro Developer Kit, which should give Kinect hackers a more powerful alternative to the Microsoft camera. The twist to the Wavi Xtion is that it comes with a pair of boxes that wirelessly stream data between your PC and your TV, letting you play games on your TV powered by the hardware in your desktop computer.

4. Razer Switchblade

One of the best gadgets to be unveiled at CES 2011 was the prototype for Razer's Switchblade notebook. It features a multi-touch screen and an adaptive keyboard that changes depending on the game or application you're running. The Intel Atom processor within is powerful enough to run games, but flexible enough for multimedia activities like watching films or browsing the web. Check out the video below for an overview, or the official Razer site for more information.

5. Nvidia 3D monitor

Nvidia announced a new 3D PC monitor, the Lenovo L2363d. The 23 inch screen can display 3D images at 1920 x 1080 resolution and even comes with a built in, dual lens 3D camera that can capture 3D stills and film, and even allows for 3D video chat. Unfortunately, you'll still need the special glasses to enjoy the 3D effect, and price details are yet to be announced.